Also today, Westmoreland Sanctuary co-hosted an event on their property with HVO.
I planned the courses, Geof and Craig vetted, Geof set controls and managed SI (with help from Lez Chiera) and Westmoreland provided lots of volunteers for registration, explaining orienteering etc., provided snacks, and most importantly advertised lots. I don't know yet what the breakdown was newbies vs returns.
This is part of a mail they sent afterwards:
Thank you for your support. The Orienteering event was a great success. Meets official numbers cracked over a 100 people! Great job! Even with the "Billy Goat" in upstate NY - One of the biggest event in the Orienteering sport. We received several requests to hold additionally meets from attendees. Neil and Jeff - we should at some point sit down and discuss the future events. I would like to discuss some future events.
In The News:
The record review came to take pictures and maybe interested in a larger story about community education for wildlife navigation that Westmoreland is trying to offer in different venues to the school (middle school course set up), scouts, police and fire departments. These programs would then be tied to one or two annual orienteering meets held at the sanctuary. The Paper has asked that the web sites information stay up for a few days so that they can use the information and reference for the story. I will let you all know if anything happens with any of this.
Steve, please outline have a very basic outline of programs so that you are ready in case the paper gives you a call. I will get in touch with them and may refer them to you.
Neil and Geof, I would like to know how you would like me promote your club as well if I can. I will offer you as an avenue for ongoing education, and refinement of skills learned in our programs in a friendly competitive environment or "sport form". Does that work for you? I cannot control what they put in the paper but I can try to get you some extra PR."
This is the set of courses
What I was aiming for is to have a set of courses that would be useful training for elite orienteers, yet suitable to introduce orienteering to beginners. The first course is perhaps a bit harder than British/Irish white, but the distances between the controls are short, almost within sight range, for the "harder" controls.
Then hopefully most of the people will have pleasant experiences on course 1 and learnt what the terrain is like and some basic skills and be prepared to give course 2 a shot. Course 2 is Yellow heading towards Orange level. It looks harder on paper than it is as visibility is great around where the controls are (e.g. number 6 was originally the cliff to west, but that one was half-hidden by fallen trees - the actual 6 is visible for miles). 7 is perhaps the hardest control, but learning to jump across the unknown is important. Participants should make a link between contours and terrain on this course (e.g. on legs 4,5,6,10).
Then for the very quick learners, or people who have been to a couple of these before, they can try the third course. It's longer, tougher, still hopefully doable (if difficult). It should satisfy the experienced ones who want longer courses (there was also a 6km on offer today), but be some sort of achievable goal for the future for newbies. Having "raced" courses 1 and 2, failing the third is not the end of the world.
After succeeding on the first course, finding courses two (or three if they get that far) challenging is a good thing. They can see that there is a lot to learn, that it is doable, and that with training they can get better.
Whether or not that is how it works in reality is another matter.